Special Issue "Ultra-Small Sensor Systems and Components"
A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 May 2012)
Prof. Dr. Frances S. Ligler (Website)
Lampe Distinguished Professor, Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University, NCSU Engineering Building 3, Room 4307 Mail Stop 7115, Raleigh, NC 27695-7115, USA
Interests: biosensors; immunosensors; fluorescence; multi-analyte sensing; microfluidics; flow cytometry; microarrays
Prof. Dr. David R. Allee (Website)
Director R&D of Backplane Electronics and Professor, Flexible Display Center at Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85284, USA
Interests: large area sensing arrays; flexible electronics; thin-film transistors; flexible displays; ultra-small devices; nanolithography
Miniaturization of sensors is accelerating with the increasing sophistication of microfluidics, integrated optics, and consumer electronics. Sensors are becoming more robust and user friendly, with expanding capacity for discriminating targets in complex sample matrices and simultaneous measurement of multiple targets. Integration of sensor systems is producing devices for use outside the laboratory by users without sophisticated technical training for environmental, medical, homeland security, and food safety applications. Networks of distributed sensors are evolving for epidemiological and environmental monitoring, placing an ever increasing emphasis on miniaturization and cost reduction. This special issue collects new reports and reviews on topics related to miniaturization of critical components for sensor systems and the integration of advanced components into portable, user-friendly sensor systems.
Of particular interest are sensors that can achieve high sensitivity, selectivity and low false alarm rates in noisy environments typical of biologically evolved sensors. There is speculation and some recent evidence that the exquisite performance of a dog’s olfaction, energy transfer in photosynthesis, and magnetoreception in birds depend critically on quantum effects. Other quantum sensors based on photon entanglement offer the possibility of enhanced resolution imaging at long wavelengths, and photon counting arrays may enable imaging in extremely low ambient illumination environments. Ultra-miniature micro gas analyzers that integrate gas chromatography and mass spectrometry may enable the detection of chemical agents in the field with laboratory sensitivity and specificity. Uncooled magnetic sensors using multiferroic materials or atomic magnetometers operating at room temperature may rival superconducting quantum interference devices in performance.
Another approach to improve sensitivity is the fabrication of a large array of small sensors to form a large capture cross section for visible photons, x-rays, neutrons, chemical species, or acoustics. Individual sensors may be distributed over large areas or an array of co-localized, multifunctional sensors might enhance specificity. To be practical, the array must be lightweight, rugged and manufacturable at a reasonable cost. Technologies for creating both low cost distributed sensors and integrated sensor arrays are of prime concern.
Papers investigating these and other topics are encouraged.
We invite submission of papers on the following topics:
- Miniaturization and automation of sample preparation devices
- Organic electronic devices configured for sensor integration
- Integration of optical and/or electronic components with sensors
- Design and fabrication of portable, fully automated sensor systems
- Utilization of integrated sensor systems at point of use
- Quantum effect sensors
- Flexible, large area arrays of small sensors
- Integration of sensors into distributed networks
- Use of sensors on unmanned vehicles
Dr. Frances Smith Ligler
Prof. Dr. David R. Allee
- integrated sensors
- quantum effect sensors
- portable sensor systems
- unmanned vehicle sensors
- integrated sensor optics
- multifunctional sensor arrays
- miniature sensor components
- automated sample preparation
- distributed sensing